You know you are in trouble when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has to tell you to calm down, but that is what happened when the Apple’s profit Steve Jobs found out that the Imperium had bought his games outfit Bungee.
While Apple has largely ignored games, apparently Steve Jobs still has somewhat of a competitive streak when it comes to companies in his glorious sphere of influence.
Former Microsoft exec Ed Fries has told Develop how Steve Jobs threw his toys out of the pram when he heard that Bungie was being bought by Ballmer’s software Imperium.
The Imperium turned Bungie from a high profile Mac developer into a studio that made Halo games specifically for Microsoft’s Xbox console.
Fries said that Jobs phoned up Ballmer because he was so angry and apparently had a “few words” with him.
Ballmer was so shocked that someone had used that tone with him that he got Fries to call Jobs back to “calm him down about the whole thing.”
While the incident is ancient history, it does somewhat fly in the face of what Jobs has said in the past about things that matter.
During his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford he said:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” he said. “Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Obviously Ballmer buying Bungee was more important than death.